Favorite Spring Travel Ideas

It’s never too early to begin planning your late spring travel; doing doesn’t just give you an exciting experience to look forward to as you make your way through the months of March and April, but planning out a May trip ahead of time allows for you to receive the most benefits possible. These benefits might come in the form of affordable pricing, luxurious accommodations, many sought-after reservations, or even once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Supply yourself with this helpful article from Travel + Leisure for a dozen destinations you should consider traveling to this May and subsequently jumpstart your vacation today!

New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, West Virginia

America is home to a new national park that has quite honestly taken the nation by storm. West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park & Preserve was only just designated as the United States’s 63rd National Park in December of 2020. Though, just because this is West Virginia’s first-ever national park, locals and tourists alike can attest that thisAppalachian wonderland has always been a special place for those seeking unbelievable sights of natural life, picturesque vistas, and traces of human history.

May is the perfect time to visit this park because the temperatures are usually perfect for an extended time spent out of doors. Ideally, if you plan your trip to be held somewhere before schools let out for summer, you’ll be able to enjoy many of the national park’s trails and overlooks in private. While inside the park, you’ll be able to take in the iconic New River Gorge as you take part in the hiking trails, fishing spots, mountain climbing, and scenic driving that is offered throughout the year. Venture out to West Virginia and experience the over 70,000 acres of land alongside the unforgettable New River this May!

Greenville, South Carolina

May is often called the favorite month among travelers because this month is the time of year that often provides manageable and gorgeous weather. Both work in tandem, allowing you to see some of the most flower-spread (a must during spring travel), unforgettable destinations in the Southern United States without breaking too much of a sweat. One city that stands as the absolute pinnacle of old-school southern charm and hospitality while also being a trendsetter on the cusp of new architectural marvels is the destination of Greenville, South Carolina.

Greenville is quite well-known for its up-and-coming, bustling art scene that is vibrantly present throughout its iconic downtown district as well as the quaint Main Street stretch of the town. Visitors and residents alike often boast about the bike-friendly attitude that prevails in this town, and it’s for good reason. The parks, street art installations, sculptures, and decadent storefronts that are sprinkled throughout the town benefit from seeing them with your own eyes and not behind the windshield of a car. If you’re looking for a key time in May to make your way to Greenville, then look no further than the city’s annual Mother’s Day celebration weekend called Artisphere. This event is a chance for over a hundred pop-up galleries and live demonstrations from street performers, musicians, glass blowers, and chalk artists to truly show the public the impressive extent of their many artistic talents.

Outside of the two listed above, Travel + Leisure recommends the following locations that benefit from a visit for spring travel. Be sure to check out the astounding sights and unforgettable experiences of Amalfi Coast, Italy; Cashiers, North Carolina; Greater Zion, Utah; Madeira, Portugal; Oceanside, California; San Antonio, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Willamette Valley, Oregon; Williamsburg, Virginia; and Yosemite National Park, California

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International Destinations That Won’t Break the Bank

Other than renewing or obtaining a passport, one of the biggest hindrances for Americans wanting to travel abroad is the expected cost of the hypothetical trip. For some, the assumed price tag can be so intimidating that they won’t even browse through international destinations, knowing that a domestic vacation can meet many of the same requirements, but with this guide by Travel + Leisure detailing “11 Dream International Vacations That Are Surprisingly Affordable,” you can rest easy and assured.

Though COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to scale back, it’s always a responsible practice to check local travel advisories, city ordinances, state mandates, and international travel advisories that may have been implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Travel safely and rest assured that you’ve done your due diligence by referring to CDC travel guidelines.

Travel + Leisure’s Cailey Rizzo compiled the list of unexpectedly affordable international destinations with the assistance of analysts from Kayak, the American online travel agency and metasearch engine. Besides the list of the specificeleven vacation destinations, they also created some useful travel tips for those wanting to travel abroad inexpensively. One of the most rewarding tips is to travel to a country during its routine “off-season,” because despite some thinking that travelers might not get to experience the country “at its best,” many travel guides, blogs, and experts say that the opposite is true. They report that enjoying the country in question at your own pace through uncrowded tourist sites is much more optimal.

Brisbane, Australia

Located in what’s come to be known as Australia’s design capital, Queensland, Brisbane is a cosmopolitan hub for culture, artistic expression, and world-class dining. The Queensland capital is particularly heavy on old and new world charm as its residents are quite aware of the stylish and relaxing environment they live in. The riverside capital is set alongside stunning natural assets and beneath clear blue skies (reportedly year-round) amid what’s been described as a “subtropical alfresco lifestyle.” Keep your travels to the dividing perimeter of the Brisbane River to stay near the city center and enjoy the city’s offerings of open-air markets, the Roma Street Parkland, and the New Farm Park.

If you’re in the mood for educational, cultural, and/or artistic enrichment, be sure to check out the world-class  Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, which is home to SparkLab, the interactive STEM space. One of the most inviting attractions of Brisbane is the

Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), each of which is set to inspire you through the featuring of Asian-Pacific art. It’s suggested that you travel to Brisbane in May, as that is the cheapest month to travel with roundtrip flights from Los Angeles being available for approximately $700, according to Kayak.

Etyek, Hungary

Often overshadowed by the attractions and glamor of Budapest, Etyek, Hungary is located only a half-hour’s drive from Budapest but is seen as a richer chance to experience Hungarian culture in an authentic, rustic environment.Allow yourself to see the splendors and spoils of Europe amid what’s often been referred to as the “vineyards of Budapest.” This nickname is due to the fact that residents of Etyek have been producing grapes since the mid 18thCentury, likening the city to Champagne, France for its proclivity to produce excellently crisp white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

If you’re a fan of the filmmaking industry, you’ll be happy to know that Etyek is home to Korda Studios, a film studio that has used the vineyards and the gorgeous setting of Etyek for such films and series as Blade Runner 2049, Inferno, The Martian, and The Last Kingdom. Though, one of the more inviting elements of Etyek is the opportunity to survey Hungarian life in its purest form. You can do this by exploring the character-rich village for yourself to get a taste of authentic Hungarian life amid the quaint tiled roof houses, beautiful Baroque and Roman churches, and rounded wine cellars. Consider renting a bicycle to breathe in the crisp countryside air in an expanse that is best traveled in October, as roundtrip flights are set at about $790, according to Kayak.

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Travel Tip: Do What the Locals Do

Vacationers and worldly travelers have many different ways of experiencing a new, unfamiliar city. Sometimes they go to restaurants and shops based only on the recommendations given to them by their close friends and family, but they still miss out on some experiences unique to that city. Other times, travelers will book a stay at a hotel and only venture within a certain mile radius of the lobby and make a judgment of the city that doesn’t take a lot of its offerings into account. But if you really want a fool-proof guide filled with travel tips to see this unfamiliar town through the eyes of a local resident, then you’re all set thanks to this list of handy tips and tricks to experience a new city as though you are a local from Trip Adviser, the true authority on the subject.

Whenever you find yourself out in a new city after weeks or months spent anticipating this escape from your own town, you’ll often want to avoid the touristy neighborhoods, and see just how the locals live their lives. The following suggestions from Trip Adviser travelers that were compiled by Wendy Perrin demonstrate how you can get an authentic reading of how it feels to live in your new city on a day-to-day basis.

As a reminder, no matter where you’re traveling to in these uncertain times, it’s always a responsible move and a good idea to check local travel advisories, city ordinances, and state mandates that may have been implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Travel safely and rest assured that you’ve done your due diligence by referring to CDC travel guidelines.

One of the best ways to measure just how different your travel destination is compared to your home city is to pursue an unfamiliar supermarket’s shelves. Not only will locals be around, but you’ll also be able to stock up on groceries for your stay. Plus, grocery stores sell some of the more affordable, edible souvenirs to bring home to loved ones expecting a gift. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to strike up a conversation with your cashier or fellow shopper who might recommend a must-try restaurant that’s right around the corner.

One traveler from GreenSpot.travel gave a unique suggestion that’s guaranteed to be the perfect fit for some people: to get a haircut mid-vacation. Not only will you have some lengthy face-time with your barber who will likely strike up a conversation on where you have to visit, but the barbershop’s group of customers likely consists of people who have lived in the city for years and want to have a say in where you go to next.

Most cities and towns of a certain size will organize a community event such as a farmer’s market that sets up shop every weekend. Oftentimes these Saturday morning markets are located either within or nearby a lively neighborhood that gives you an idea of just how involved the local community is in their produce-growing and craft-selling. Not only will the farmer’s market be a melting pot of citizens, foods, arts, and more, but you’ll be able to assess for yourself just how passionate these locals are about their region in a new and exciting way that also gives you a chance to bring home some unique finds.

If you’re finding yourself in a major metropolitan area, there’s a fine chance that it has an efficient public transportation system. Whether it’s by bus, subway, or train, you’ll likely be able to purchase something like an Oyster Card, which will allow you to travel by bus or train for ‘free’ once you reach a minimum daily amount, or some cities offer an unlimited day or weekend pass. Either way, you’re bound to see the same sites that your average tourist bus would take you to, or at least you’ll be closer to a new area of town that you’d otherwise not see. Just be sure to read up on your city’s public transit system so as to find the best and most efficient way of navigating it.

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Visiting the Sophisticated City of Tallahassee, Florida

While it doesn’t have the Kennedy Space Center or the magical expanse of Walt Disney World Resort within its city limits to draw in its tourists, the capital city of  Florida (Tallahassee) is a pinnacle of southern charm, unforgettable hospitality, and sheer sophistication, as evidenced in this feature from the blog Travel Pulse.

 The city of Tallahassee stands proudly in the western panhandle of Florida as being more than the sum of its parts. This is due to the fact that many Americans typically view the city as solely being the home of notable football programs and collegiate achievements. These tourists are often surprised by the multitudes contained within this aptly nicknamed “southern gem” for its vibrant arts district, breathtakingly lush park grounds, and a plethora of quaint experiences to be had within its boundaries.

Tallahassee, Florida is the eighth-largest city in the state of Florida and the 126th-largest city in the nation, and because of it being home to Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, it’s still widely considered to be a significant college town. This classification contributes to the lively spirit that is seen embodied throughout the city’s recreational, historical, and social scenes.

Residents and tourists alike take advantage of the numerous eco-adventures offered by the city such as its many biking, hiking, and paddling trails from which the beautiful scenery of the capital city can be observed. Consider booking an expedition (ranging from beginner to expert) that has you adventuring down the Munson Hills Mountain Bike Trail or one of the city’s other offered trails. Tallahassee has so many trails to traverse that the city has a resource named “Trailahassee” that helps to guide its visitors and residents to make the most out of the city’s 700+ miles of trails.

Outside of being a notable collegiate city, Tallahassee also is the capital seat of the state of Florida, giving a home to the Florida State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Florida Governor’s Mansion, and dozens of additional state agencies. This is in addition to the city also being widely-known for its contributions to the field of science with it being home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory as well as the domain of public safety with it being recently honored by the American Public Power Association for receiving the prestigious honor that is the 2021 E. F. Scattergood System Achievement Award. This award names Tallahassee as having the top public utility in the entire country for “demonstrated achievements that made a difference in the community, improved service to customers and enhanced the profile of public power.”

If you find yourself wanting to see a more social and creative angle to the city, then look no further than Tallahassee’s Arts & Creative District where everything from live performances, art classes, and vibrant festivals can be enjoyed from the Railroad Square Craft House. Additionally, immerse yourself in the worlds of both architecture and nature with the secret gardens and floral marvels found at the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. The gardens encompass over 1,000 total acres that wrap around Lake Hall, and they offer adventures in canoeing, horseback riding, and biking alongside vibrant artwork made from the state of Florida’s own flora.

Round out your trip by immersing yourself in the rich history of the city by exploring the Tallahassee Historical Museum and Capitol Building where you can stroll through the preserved gardens, living exhibits, animal sanctuaries, and even a “Tree-to-Tree” zip line. On the premises, you’ll also find the Florida Historic Capitol Museum that is housed within the original capitol building, and since it was originally constructed in 1902 there is plenty to be learned from its architecture as well as its archives, making it a perfect destination for anyone interested in the state’s history and politics.

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The Perfect Warm-Weather Getaways To Escape The Cold

With the cold fronts that have been coming through the US, it’s understandable if you find yourself daydreaming of warmer days by the ocean, with the sun beating down on you. If you’re longing to get away to warmer climates, you’re in good company! Thankfully, Travel + Leisure has created a roundup post of affordable warm-weather getaways that take you from snow to sand.

The Cayman Islands

Dreaming of white beaches and turquoise waters? Then the Cayman Islands is the perfect warm-weather getaway for you. Grand Cayman is the biggest of the three islands, so there is plenty of opportunity for shopping trips and delicious cuisine. You can also visit Stingray City, where you get the chance to swim alongside stingrays.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

This town is set when it comes to culture, dining, and experiences for travelers who are looking for a relaxing warm-weather getaway! Make sure to swing by The Cabo Arch, which is a rock formation jutting out of the sea.

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Want to visit somewhere that looks like it’s straight out of a postcard? Then you’ve picked the right place! You’ll find glimmering beaches, crystal clear water, and coral reefs. Go shopping in the morning and snorkeling in the afternoon. You’ll literally be living your daydream!

Grenada

Ranked one of Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018, Grenada is home to brilliant teal waters and welcoming locals that love to show you around. If you visit in February, you’ll be able to see the island’s Independence Day celebrations for the United Kingdom in 1974! This island is perfect for your next warm-weather getaway.

Little Torch Key, Florida

One of the Florida Key islands, you’ll find Little Torch Key about two thirds of the way west. Here, you can stay at theLittle Palm Island Resort, where no television or cell phones are allowed. This resort is on a private island and completely cuts you off from the outside world, which is the ultimate relaxation technique.

Barbados

This is the perfect getaway for those that are looking to get in touch with nature. You can paddleboard, go diving, or explore a wildlife preserve. You can also touch up on your history and learn about the Native Americans, British Colonizers, and West Africans who once took up residency here.

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Ready for year-round sunshine? Playa Del Carmen is the place to go in the winter months when you are looking for a warm-weather getaway due to the teal waters, shimmering white beaches, abundance of activities for the entire family, shops, and authentic cuisine. You can also experience tours of the Mayan ruins nearby.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Famous for reggae and chill vibes, you won’t be disappointed by a warm-weather getaway in Montego Bay. Experience crystal-clear waters and inviting locals for an authentic Jamaican stay. You can spend your entire day lounging by the water or head to some shops to find some souvenirs. Stay at the Half Moon, a luxury resort that includes two miles of beachfront, an award-winning spa, and golf course.

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Six Budget Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts

Going on vacation can be really fun, but also really stressful. Booking the perfect hotel, finding activities to do, and where to eat can easily start racking up a pretty high price. So what do you do? Luckily, resorts are an option nearly everywhere you go. Resorts usually have everything a vacationer wants – a hotel, pool, restaurants, shopping, even sports all within walking distance. Unfortunately, that’s often every bit as pricey as it sounds. Finding all-inclusive resorts in a budget friendly price range can seem nearly impossible, but fear not!

Here are 6 all-inclusive resorts from a list Trips to Discovertogether of awesome all-inclusive resortsthat are easy on the budget!

●    Majestic Colonial, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

A popular destination for honeymoons, Majestic Colonial in one of three upscale sister properties on Bavaro Beach, It has 658 suites (some with ocean views!), jetted tubs, marble floors, six delicious restaurants, live piano in the lobby, and free access to a discotheque. It’s really as awesome as it sounds.

●    ClubHotel Riu Negril, Jamaica

This beachfront resort resides in Jamaica, and comes with two huge swimming pools, shaded loungers to hang out poolside, and five restaurants. While there, make sure to check out the Renova Spa to reach ultimate relaxation status. Fan of watersports? They have activities like diving, windsurfing, and kayaking just for you!

●    Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, St. Lucia

Say yes to this resort, with a gorgeous mile-long beach, furnished balconies, ocean views, five swimming pools, a water park, and six restaurants. You’ll have so much fun, you’ll never want to leave. Want privacy? Reserve the Harmony wing for your own pool, hammocks, and oceanfront spa, Kai Mer.

●    Solmar Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico

Although a little smaller than other resorts in the area, Solmar packs a lot while taking it easy on the wallet. Only a few minutes from downtown and the marina, you’ll have easy access to attractions and excursions. Each spacious room come with balconies and a water view, kitchenettes, and flat screen TVs.

●    Royal Decameron Golf Beach Resort & Villas, Farallón, Panama

Looking for a different experience? Then this is the resort for you! Royal Decameron is set on a secluded, golden beach that’s surrounded by rich gardens. You’ll see breathtaking views and have free access to snorkel gear, paddleboards, windsurfers, and kayaks. You can also check out their 18-hole golf course or one of their eight pools. Whatever you do, it’s sure to be fun.

●    Iberostar Anthelia, Tenerife, Spain

This budget-friendly resort is the deal of a lifetime! Participate in boat excursions from Puerto Colon harbor, hang out in one of their saltwater pools, indulge in the Finnish sauna, or reach ultimate relaxation status with their Thai spa treatments. All of their rooms come with either a sea or garden view and the bathrooms each have rainfall showers. You’ll have your fair pick of food, ranging from delicious BBQ to a buffet at Zeus restaurant.

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